December 10th

Christmas Card:

This picture reminds me of the song ” I’ll be Home for Christmas”. The truth be I am always home in Butte Montana because that is where my heart is.

As I sat down this morning and looked at my Facebook page while waking up. I saw this wonderful photo of Butte posted by Mary Mulcahy Driscoll. I thought to myself what a wonderful Christmas Card that would make.  At that moment I decided to copy her photo (Mary I hope you don’t mind) and make today’s posting about Christmas cards.

A Christmas card is a traditionally known greeting card  sent as part of the traditional celebration of Christmas for the purpose of sharing between people a range of sentiments related to the Christmas and the Holiday Seasons.

Christmas cards are usually exchanged during the weeks preceding Christmas Dayby many people (including non-Christians) in Western Cultures and in Asia.

The traditional greeting reads “wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. There are many variations on this greeting, some expressing more religious sentiment, or containing a poem, prayer or Biblical verse while others stay away from religion with your typical “Season’s greetings”.

The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843 featuring an illustration by John Colbott Horsley.The picture, of a family with a small child drinking wine together, proved controversial, but the idea was shrewd: Cole had helped introduce the Penny Post three years earlier.

Two batches totaling 2,050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each. Early English cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring flowers, fairies and other fanciful designs that reminded the recipient of the approach of spring.

In  1875 Louis Prang became the first printer to offer cards in America, though the popularity of his cards led to cheap imitations that eventually drove him from the market.

“Official” Christmas cards began with Queen Victoria  in the 1840s. Theses cards are generally portraits reflecting significant personal events of the year.

In 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower  issued the first official White House card. The cards usually depict White House scenes as  by prominent American artists. The number of recipients has snowballed from just 2,000 in 1961 to 1.4 million in 2005. (So why is the post office worried about no business? This is our tax dollars paying for this.)

Many businesses, from small local businesses to multi-national enterprises send Christmas cards to the people on their customer lists, as a way to develop general goodwill, retain brand awareness and reinforce social networks. It is also a way of reminding them of the business name and signally a sign of personal “We Care About You.”  Building on a somewhat trusting relationship.

Many people send cards to both close friends and distant acquaintances, potentially making the sending of cards a multi-hour chore in addressing scores or even hundreds of envelopes.

The greeting in the card can be personalized but brief, or may include a summary of the year’s news. The extreme of this is the Christmas letter

Some people take the annual mass mailing of cards as an opportunity to update those they know with the year’s events, and include the so-called “Christmas letter” reporting on the family’s doings, sometimes running to multiple printed pages. While a practical notion, Christmas letters meet with a mixed reception; recipients may take it as boring and, bragging, or a combination of the two, whereas other people appreciate Christmas letters as more personal. With today’s technology and computers and printers in most homes this has become a faster more popular way to produce your Christmas mailings as addresses or the famous “Christmas lists can be stored and printed at the touch of a button. No more extensive hand writing of thousands of addresses on envelopes.

Todays, traditional behaviour has been changing since the internet, smart phones (Andriod,iPhone,etc) & tablets (iPad) have deeply influencing about life. E-Cards become an easier,faster and more environment friendly way to send your warming wishes to the ones you care about. There are many internet card systems that now allow you to quickly design a card push a button and off it goes.

However, in my true opinion the true meaning of Christmas Cards is to keep in touch with those people who you really appreciate, and don’t want to lose touch with.

Over the years I stopped sending Christmas Cards. I had to choose between food on the table and postage stamps and cards. It was a no brainer for me. Food for my children was more important. However, in the past ten years more and more of my closest friends are finding their way back to me. Now God permitting I will reciprocate to those I love and cherish dearly.

Christmas cards that I send out will be sent with the true meaning of Christmas and love from my heart.

I detest Christmas Letters. I feel they are very impersonal, generic, and do have a tendency to be bragging. I also feel that if you are close to that person the majority of the time you already know what they have put in their letter. How about just a short note between close friends or a phone call.

I hate to write a Christmas Letter, I find myself saying poor little me we didn’t have a cruise this year, there were no weddings, babies born or nothing good in my life in comparison to yours.

Oh and ya I published my second book now I’m bragging. But then you already knew about my book and if you were interested you’ve already purchased it. Better not push any more or you will go into hiding.

Now I’ve over step my boundaries because Christmas letters make me feel like I have to compete.

I received a Christmas letter the other day and by the end of that letter I felt like “Oh to hell with it.” Now there goes my plans out the door because what I was looking at in a possible move had been done by this person and I could only now be construed as a copy cat.

So when you want to share Christmas with me. Please I don’t want those Christmas photos once a year. I ‘ve never met your kids and grandkids even though we are related. I haven’t seen you in over thirty years. Let’s keep it real.

Send a card say what you mean from the heart. If you really care about me pick up the phone and call. I’d rather have a fifteen minute phone call then a postage stamp and letter. I don’t keep a letter box for memories so it’s headed for the trash can.

I do save my Christmas Cards from my friends and I do decorate the house with them.

Let’s go back to using Christmas Cards as a sentimental way of letting someone know you really care. Actions speak louder than words.

So as you work on your Christmas Cards, Letters, etc. keep in mind how others may interpret your intent. Will they be looking forward to hearing from you or will it be a simply I don’t know why they even bother.

Take time during this holiday season to reminisce and think about what was important to you during your holiday years growing up. Did you celebrate special letters or cards that came. Take time to personalize yourself and don’t add people on your list just to have a long list of people you have no contact with at any other time of the year.

Keep it real. I would rather receive two special cards then a hundred meaningless cards and letters.

So your song for today is a song sung by Jimmy Reeves:

There’s an Old Christmas Card in an old dusty trunk
And it brings back sweet memories dear to me
‘Though it’s faded and worn, it’s as precious as the morn
When I found it ‘neath our first Christmas tree

Chorus:
I thrill with every word, every line
Guess I’m always sentimental ’round this time
Pardon me if a tear falls among my Christmas cheer
It’s the memory of an Old Christmas Card

(Recitation)
You know, I don’t know why I get to feeling sentimental
About this time, every year
But every time I see a Christmas card,
I somehow can’t help reminiscing
About the very first Christmas that you and I spent together
What a beautiful Christmas card you gave me that year
Why I know you must have looked through thousands of cards
To find that wonderful poem that still brings a tear to my eyes

Repeat chorus

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